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Shimla, Manali wrapped under white blanket

Shimla, Manali wrapped under white blanketShimla, Jan 11 - The Himanchal Pradesh's Shimla and Manali - prominent tourist places - Saturday woke up to a blanket of fresh snow.

Tourist spots near Shimla, such as honeymooners' paradise Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda also experienced overnight snowfall, an official of the meteorological department here told IANS.

Likewise, the Solang ski slopes, 13 km uphill from Manali, and Kalpa, 250 km from here, also witnessed snow.

The hoteliers expect tourists in large numbers this weekend.

Shimla, which saw moderate snow Friday, witnessed season's second snowfall, said the official. The minimum temperature was 0.1 degrees Celsius. Shimla last got snow Dec 22.

The snow-clad Dhauladhar ranges, forming the backdrop of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association venue in Dharamsala, turned more white.

"The higher reaches of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Sirmaur, Mandi, Shimla and Chamba districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snowfall for the past three days, while mid and lower hills lashed with rain," the official said.

Officials said buses for towns like Rohru, Theog, Kharapathar, Chopal and Rampur on the upper side of Shimla were plying via Dhami and Basantpur as road beyond Shimla was closed due to thick snow cover. (IANS)